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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Chameleon-Veileds & Jacksons Setup Steps

Chameleon-Veileds & Jacksons

Experience Level: Advanced

Chameleons

Did you know? Chameleons can change color when they are excited, stressed, or frightened which helps them blend into the environment, hidden from potential predators. Their eyes also move independently of each other which allow Chameleons a distinct advantage of being able to watch two things at one time. Lastly, Chameleons have opposable toes on all four feet which make them great climbers.

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

Veiled Chameleons are commonly found in Saudi Arabia, where as Jackson’s Chameleons are from East Africa. They both require warm, humid environments and are best housed individually.

Terrarium
(A) Use a well-ventilated, tall enclosure since Chameleons like to climb. The habitat should be a minimum of 3' tall, although larger habitats are preferred.
(B) Screened lid, if not included with habitat.

Step 2Heating and Lighting

Heating
• Equip the habitat with two (C) thermometers (one high and one low) and one (D) hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.

• The basking spot is the warmest point in the habitat during the day. Heat is provided by a (E) high-wattage heat bulb placed directly above the basking spot. (Turn basking bulb off at night.)

• Use a ceramic heat emitter or night heat lamp as needed to maintain nighttime temperatures.

Lighting
• Chameleons are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Use a daytime (F) UVA/UVB (ultraviolet light) fluorescent bulb for approximately 12 hours per day.
• For night viewing, and to minimize visible light seen by your Chameleon, use a night-specific bulb.

Step 3Substrate and Decor

Substrate
(G) Line the bottom of the habitat with reptile carpet or bark/fiber bedding.
• Clean out waste weekly and completely change bedding at least once a month.

Decor
(H) Include decor to elevate your Chameleon closer to the heat source for basking.
(J) Provide branches (artificial or live) for hiding and climbing. Chameleons love live plants, but may eat vegetation, so it is important all plants are safe for reptiles and not treated with any chemicals.
• Ensure branches are the appropriate diameter for the size of your Chameleon’s grip (branches should be slightly larger than their grip.)

HEALTH
New surroundings and environments can be stressful for reptiles. Prior to handling your pet, give him 3-4 days to adjust to his new surroundings while monitoring his behavior for any signs of stress or illness. Shortly after purchase, ask a veterinarian familiar with reptiles to examine your pet.

THINGS TO WATCH FOR
• Runny droppings for more than two days

• Eating or drinking less; weight loss

• Swollen joints

• Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

• Shedding problems; discolored skin

• Avoidance of the basking area; more time spent hiding

If you notice any of the above signs, speak with a PetSmart store associate or reptile veterinarian with questions about the health of your pet.

PETSMART CARES
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.

Other Reminders

Use caution when handling reptiles. All pets may bite or scratch especially when stressed. Always handle your turtle by the mid section and not by the limbs. Supervise children around pets.

Pets may transmit disease to humans; be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your pet, the aquarium water or cleaning its home.